Oliver Schindler is 25 years old, born in London, England. He moved to the US with his family as a teenager and although misses many things about the UK, he very much feels at home in Los Angeles. Oliver graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Philosophy and minors in both Business Administration and Sociology. When not networking with Private Club connoisseurs, Oliver is an avid golfer, with a current handicap of 4. However, his biggest love in life is his English Football, in particular, Tottenham Hotspur.
Q: What professional accomplishments are you most proud of since you are the Vice President Club Relations at National Golf Course Restaurant Association, how is this role challenging you?
Oliver: I have been with the National Golf Course Restaurant Association for 18 months, who have just celebrated their 10 year anniversary as a company, which we are all very proud about. However, I am immensely proud to be representing the NGCRA, whilst working with many of the county's most renowned and prestigious private clubs.
The NGCRA currently works with over 500 private clubs nationwide, many of which have been ranked as some of the best anywhere in the world. Our main challenge will always be ensuring our clubs receive the highest level of quality and service from our partner suppliers. Over time, we strive to become the number one resource for each of our clubs Food & Beverage needs.
Although the NGCRA has been in business since 2009, I was tasked with the role of expanding the business in Southern California. Like with any new business, everyday presents itself with new challenges, but we continue to grow and are very excited for what 2019 will bring.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be in an industry which has allowed me to visit and learn from many of the worlds most exclusive private clubs, building lifelong relationships along the way.
Q: What are the superpowers of your team?
Oliver: The thing that makes our team at NGCRA special is our expertise and experience in both the private club and restaurant industry, as well as experience from a distributor standpoint. With that said, we have built a program that is designed specifically to lower Food & Beverage costs, without ever compromising quality or creativity. Our team at the NGCRA act as the " middle men", who open the doors for our distributor partners to service our customers.
Our objective is relatively simple; either we validate the current pricing and quality of product that a club, or restaurant is currently purchasing, or we provide them with their desired order guide, but for a better price through our distributor partners.
Every month we host many of Southern California's most talented and experienced Club Chefs at a different Club venue, where Chefs and their F&B directors are able to sample an array of products, while collaborating and building life-long relationships with one another. We look forward to hosting our next Chef Gathering at Rolling Hills Country Club's new state of the art clubhouse next month.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
Oliver: I have worked in several different roles over the last few years in the Private Club industry, both with fantastic companies that have allowed me to network with many of the industry's most talented and respected. Although I am yet to manage more than a handful of people at one time, I find that teamwork and treating everyone as a pivotal part of the process is key.
I'm a firm believer that being on a team with similar minded people can be dangerous; I try hard to appreciate that each member of my team has a different skill set and should stick to what they are good at. If I could only stress one thing to my team for the rest of my life, it would be " you only get one chance at a first impression".
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have met in your career?
Oliver: Launching the NGCRA in Southern California has definitely had its challenges, as any new business coming into an existing market would expect. From a personal perspective, my first challenge was always to ingratiate myself on a side of the Private Club world I was yet to explore; Food & Beverage. After serving as Director of the Platinum Clubs of the America & Platinum Clubs of the World until 2017, I was extremely fortunate to gain experience and build relationships with many of the most respected General Managers and Golf Directors both in the US and Internationally.
Today the most important people in my life are the Chefs, who have shown me a completely new world. I would like to stress how much respect I have for Club Chef's, providing the highest level of quality to the same 500 or so members each day, many of whom dine at Michelin star restaurants all over the world, is no easy feat!
Q: What are some challenges or trends you see in hiring today?
Oliver: One of the things I have noticed is how strangling of a question " what are you doing next" or " any idea what you will do after you graduate" can be, regardless of who is asking the question . With that said, I think it's fair to say that times have never been harder to get a job in an industry that you love and with a clear career path, especially for millennials; graduating from a top 4-year university was something people used to be immensely proud of. Today, although still a proud accomplishment, going to a 4-year university has now become more of a necessity, that offers no guarantees of success after graduation.
I have seen many people " settle" for roles in a company, or industry that is not suited for them, but waiting for a better offer to present itself and weighing up the options seems to be a lot easier said than done.
Living in a society obsessed with keeping up with the jonses, it's really no surprise people ( millennials) seem to prefer taking any position that becomes available, as the pressure from society, or even loved ones to be in a position at a company can often at times be overwhelming . However, one of the trends I am noticing and find refreshing in many companies is the recruitment of creative minds; there has never been a greater time in the business world to be that someone that can " think outside the box".
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